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[Editorial] President Roh’s “Message to Homecoming Citizens”

[Editorial] President Roh’s “Message to Homecoming Citizens”

Posted February. 06, 2005 22:31,   


President Roh Moo-hyun said in his message to citizens coming home for the New Year, “Some say the economy is getting better bit by bit, yet our worries over the economy still continue,” and pledged, “More than anything else, I will create a lot of jobs this year and work hard so that the ordinary public does not suffer from high consumption prices and housing costs.”

The president’s remarks sound more hopeful and inspiring than what he said about five months ago to citizens coming home for Chuseok: “Words of depression that the public is finding it hard to make food for Chuseok due to economic hardships depress me, too.” His message this time will hopefully soothe the distress of the public, who is suffering under the harsh economic conditions. Luckily, signs are that the economy is recovering.

For the government to keep up the momentum of hope, its keynote of national governance for reviving the economy and the public’s livelihood should not be shaken. The government has seen enough trials and errors for the last two years. It has drawn an important lesson from its experiences that it, when pursuing reform, should read the public’s mind, set priorities and control the speed of reform. The last thing it should do is to fail to see a reason why the approval ratings for the president, which began at 70 percent shortly after the president was sworn in, dropped to approximately 20 percent, and have been in a slow increase of late. The true meaning of politics and leadership is to work first and hardest to do what the public wants.

It is inspiring that the political circles have agreed to win the hearts of the people during the New Year holidays, regardless of their party colors. Up until now, all they have been doing are distributing promotional pamphlets, touting themselves and slandering other parties. It is good to see the politicians now trying to work for the public and know the public’s agonies, which will be reflected in their legislative work.

Much will change if everyone ranging from the president to ruling and opposition party members pull together to improve the economy and the public’s livelihoods. Most notably, the atmosphere in the Special Session of the National Assembly, to resume after the holidays, will change so that ruling and opposition parties can put aside controversial bills and work harmoniously to pass bills through dialogue and negotiation for the good of the public. If that happens, the president’s pledge in his message to homecoming citizens to “characterize this year as the year of making Korea into an advanced nation and improving its economy” will not be a distant mirage.